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Chateau Les Trois Croix 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • JS90
  • JS90
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • WS90
  • WS90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Chateau Les Trois Croix, the privately owned estate of the Patrick Leon Family is located on Fronsac's highest hill, close to Saint-Emilion & Pomerol. The chalk and clay soil provides the perfect environment for the grape varieties which produce this outstanding wine. Les Trois Croix is named after the three crosses on the pilgrimage site of a nearby 12th century church. Berfore retiring to assist his son Bertrand, Patrick Leon worked as wine master at such celebrated firms & wineries as Alexis Lichine, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Opus One and Almaviva.

Good balance and ripe fruit freshness in the mouth, with good tannins that are noticeable but round and creamy. A great, classic Bordeaux Vintage.

Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A solid, mouthfilling, slightly gutsy style, with briary grip carrying the blackberry, fig and espresso notes, all laced with hints of dark olive and bittersweet ganache. Taut tannins on the finish will need ot soften in the cellar. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2015.
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Chateau Les Trois Croix

Chateau Les Trois Croix

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Chateau Les Trois Croix, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Les Trois Croix is translated from French to mean "Three Crosses" for "three children". Patrick Leon and his wife dreamed of owning their own family winery one day. 1712 is carved in stone in the winery and reflects the age and seniority of the vineyard.

Located 86 meters above sea level on the limestone plateau, the vineyard offers a magnificent view over the hills, valleys and mounds typical "of this count... this Fronsac" Tuscan girondine "if endearing." The plateau of clay composed of "molasses of Fronsac" relies on large limestone rock outcropping that of the surface. These are ideal conditions for Merlot, the grape king supplemented by Cabernet Franc up to 20%, which the Fronsac region is known for producing.

Home of the very first remarkable Right Bank wines, dating back to the 1730s, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac actually retained more fame than Pomerol well into the 19th century. Today these wines represent some of Bordeaux’s best hidden gems.

Fronsac is a very small region at an unusually high elevation compared to other Bordeaux appellations. Its vineyards unroll along the oak-dotted hills bordering the river’s edge, making it perhaps Bordeaux’s prettiest and most majestic countryside.

Merlot covers 60% of the vineyard acreage; the rest of the vines are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac appellations are limited to the higher land where soils are predominantly limestone and sandstone. Lower vineyards along the Dordogne River mainly qualify for Bordeaux AOC status

The best Fronsac are deeply concentrated in ripe red and black berry; they have a solid mineral backbone and are rich and plush on the finish.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

SOU143582_2008 Item# 109645